A gorgeous warm-coloured and strong clay, with an extremely simple firing schedule.
Art Clay Copper only requires a 30 minute kiln firing time and you don't need to use any activated carbon or firing pans - you can even fire it with a torch! It is a incredibly reliable clay, and the clay we recommend whole heartedly to anyone new to base metal clay.
You shape and work with Art Clay Copper just like normal silver clay. You can mould it, press textures into it, stick dry pieces together, set stones in it; exactly as you would when working with silver clay.
Make sure any tools you use are clean of silver clay as this would contaminate your copper, creating an alloy which doesn't take to firing very well at all. Use separate files and abrasive papers/sponges, as these are almost impossible to clean.
Put the dried clay on shelf paper on a kiln shelf, as the copper can stick to the shelf slightly. Place in a hot kiln and fire at 970C for at least 30 minutes. When finished , don't let the kiln cool down. Yu need to quench the piece immediately from hot. Keep a steel bowl just under the kiln door, and as soon as you open the door, tip the kiln shelf over so the piece/pieces drop into the water. Every second the piece is exposed to the cooler air, it will oxidise, which will damage the piece. The quenching will allow most of the oxidised layer which occurs during firing to peel off.
We also highly recommend firing under a thin layer of carbon - this makes the quenching a little less stressful, as the carbon layer will protect the copper and you can take a little longer moving it from the hot kiln to the quenching bowl. We literally poor a little carbon on top of the piece straight onto the shelf, so the piece is just covered with a couple of millimetres of carbon. This gets poured into the quenching bowl with the piece, but can then be sieved out, dried, and used again.
You can torch fire smaller Art Clay copper pieces, keep them under 35gm, and ideally not much bigger than a 50p coin as anything bigger is impossible to keep evenly heated for the whole firing.
Place piece on a firing brick and heat until cherry red (much hotter than silver needs) for at least 5-7 minutes, depending on size. Copper needs to be quenched immediately once you move the flame from it. This stops it from getting too much firescale/oxidisation. Keep a bowl of water close to your firing brick and keep it so it is level or under the edge of the fibre brick; using long tweezers or tongs, either push the piece towards the water following it with the flame until it hits the water, or move the flame away and quickly pick up/push the piece into the water.
Storing Art Clay Copper:
The surface of Art Clay Copper will naturally start oxidising and the colour will darken over time if left in the air. If you do get a darkened surface on your unfired clay - scrape most of the layer off smoosh in any small dark pieces into the remaining clay. To avoid oxidisation of unused clay, wrap it in layers of cling film tightly, then place in a grip seal bag or air tight container. Our Art Clay Storage Pot is great for keeping your clay fresh and workable. Keep the clay indoors at a moderate room temp and out of direct sunlight.
Did you know we stock embeddable copper findings? 'Embeddable' means you can add them to your clay in the wet stage and fire all at once.
Click here to see our full range of embeddable findings.
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This clay is lovely to work with and easy to use . When fired it is a nice rich colour and shines beautifully .
It's great fun to work with, I'm learning more and more with each batch I make. I've tried a couple of other metal clays but this is by far the easiest to use.
I love Art Clay Copper and have never used any other copper clay because I find it easy to work and fire. I usually enamel this clay.
This is easy to work with, mould and fire - my favourite brand to use for Copper. I do use a kiln though, when I have torched it I have not had so much success.
copperclay is really easy to work with and not expensive. I have use it with different Patina’s to make key rings and handbag charms which i am really pleased with.
Wonderful product - never disappoints.
I have found this clay impossible to turn into metal. I followed the instructions precisely and all the items were like biscuits after firing. I tried adjusting heat and firing time, still no joy. Just don't bother, save your money and time! RESPONSE FROM METAL CLAY: We're sorry to hear you're experiencing these problems Jemima. It sounds like your pieces are not fully sintering. We'd love to hear more about your firing process as we think we can help you get to the bottom of the problem. We successfully fire Art Clay Copper all the time so we're sure once you get the firing schedule down, you'll love working with it and will find it produces a lovely, warm copper metal. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll see what we can do to help!
This is my second review of this product, but I have something to add. My previous review stands as it is - this is an excellent product - please read my first review. However two things have come to light, neither of which is a problem for me, and shouldn't be for you. 1. Copper tarnishes but we all know that. I've found that the patina that develops is pleasing and can vary on a piece according to the depths and highlights of the thickness. 2. Copper turns your skin green! - Yes it certainly does! Not that I want people to hide my handmade jewellery away, but some folk prefer to keep my crosses close to their chest, so-to-speak. I've found the answer here at Metalclay.co.uk - I've started to enamel the face of the indents of my crosses and using the enamel kit available on this site have started to enable the reverse side. A good looking, smooth and consistent finish - and no more green staining.